Day 48 to Day 51 Homeward bound!


Day 48 Regina, Saskatchewan to Dryden, Ontario

When we left Regina we were ready to put in some long days and get ourselves home!  This day would have us drive straight through the rest of Saskatchewan , Manitoba and into Ontario.

One of the many sites in the Prairies that we often saw was seemingly endless freight trains.  Whether they were carrying coal or grain, they could commend an entire horizon at times!

Just the front portion of the train!

Before we left Saskatchewan, we did a detour on a scenic drive of the Qu’Appelle Valley. We went about 25 kms north of the Trancanada and then drove east, southeast along the valley and then south again to the TransCanada. What a beautiful valley! Dotted with farms and changing colours it was a site to behold!

Entering the Qu’Appelle Valley
Looking down the valley, farms interspersed with bush.
Another roadside view

We soon left Saskatchewan and entered Manitoba. Flat Prairie land yielded to Canadian Shield formations as we crossed the province.

Soon ( we’ll a few hours plus a lunch and gas fill up in Winnipeg) and we were at the Ontario border. No mistaking the cut rock faces of the Canadian Shield!

It was nice to see the fire danger down to the moderate level as this area was in the red when we left.
The familiar embrace of the Canadian Sheild

We pushed past Kenora and finally stopped at Dryden around 9:30 pm.  Restaurants were closed except for fast food and we had had enough of that already, so we settled for a yogurt and granola bar!   Such an exciting life we lead!!  Until tomorrow, stay safe.

Day 49 Dryden to Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior

We left Dryden thinking we might stay in Thunder Bay, perhaps at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, but it was only a short (3-4 hours) drive so we decided to push on to the National park just south east of Marathon.   

On the way we stopped at the Terry Fox Memorial and lookout. It was a clear day, no major smoke from either the BC fires or Ontario forest fires and we could actually see the sleeping giant!

Clear blue skies gave a great view of the Sleeping Giant
You can just see a couple of Canada Steamship Line freighters lining up to get their grain. I wonder if we’ll see them go by once we are home in a few days!
A beautiful bridge over a canyon leading to the lake

The road continued to cut through rock and occasional views of Lake Superior could be seen.  The drive was lovely!

A bay along Lake Superior

I thought we might be able to get an  oTENTic on spec.  Unfortunately, when we got the the gatehouse of Pukaskwa Park at 6 pm, we learned the gatehouse closed at 4:30.  While we could self check in for a regular site, we couldn’t get an oTENTic because we couldn’t get a key!  My plans were dashed!  We now had to find a vacant site, unload the car, set up the tent, make supper, clean up and pack away the food and food gear all before we lost daylight at 8:15!  I’m afraid I wasn’t pleasant company for my patient husband as I insisted this was the last tent setup I was willing to do this trip!  I did manage a short walk to the boat launch and beach while Dan did dinner cleanup.  What a beautiful park!  All I could think of was how much I would be missing because my endurance for camping had come to an end!

A protected bay that served as the boat launch for Pukaskwa NP

Back at the camp, Dan was settled in reading and having a much deserved dram.  The dark brought on cool temps quite quickly so I set up a couple of hand warmers in socks and put them in my sleeping bag ( great alternative to hot water bottles) and headed out to the washroom for my evening wash up before bed.  Until tomorrow, stay safe!

Day 50, Pukaskwa National Park to North Bay

We woke up to the drip drip of condensation coming from our tent fly. While the evening was clear, the cool temperatures once again caused quite a build up of water on the inside of the fly sheet ( our tent was very dry however). We set to breaking camp and packing the car. Once we packed the car Dan and I decided to do a short hike out to the Lake to see some of the views. Gorgeous sandy beaches bordered by huge rock outcroppings. It is no wonder this area ( the Algoma and Agawa) inspired so many painters of the group of seven.

Artists inspired by this scenery
Beautiful expansive beaches that line this park for miles!
Looking southwest
A fragile ecosystem next to the beach where ground cover and trees fight to survive in this sandy soil.
A Larch or Tamarack tree catching the morning sun. Our deciduous conifer!

Back into Marathon for coffee and breakfast and then we set our sights on home. We plan to stop at either Sudbury or North Bay for the night. The key was to push as far as we could comfortably, so that our final drive home was not too long.

As we headed south and east along the shores of Lake Superior we were awestruck by the beauty of this rugged part of Canada. Just South of Wawa we came to Lake Superior Provincial Park. We decided to stop to explore the Agawa Pictographs as well as a dramatic canyon.

Heading south east from Pukaskwa NP
The path down to the pictographs. Not for the faint of heart!
The wall of pictographs. I’m afraid this was as far out onto the rock that I dared to go. Warnings of falling and death made me a little gun shy!
Description of the pictographs along with a view of the cliff!
Back up the rocky face we go!
A remarkable rock cut on the way to the pictographs created by pressure billions of years ago. Here lava flowed and traces of the black diabase can still be seen today.
Dan on the way out of the rocky path towards the car park,

Back in the car, we headed to the first gas station we could find. We managed to cruise into one just south of Pancake Bay Provincial Park where we had stayed on the way out. No sweat, we still had 20 kms left on the gas gage!!!

We had just a short drive into Sault Ste Marie. From there we were on the hunt for a fish and chip place recommended to us by our friends Brenda and Chris. We had tried to find it on the way out, but missed it. This time we were ready for the Butterfly Cafe in Blind River! Dan and I ordered the local caught pickerel and chips and were certainly not disappointed!

Ordering our dinner
An absolute monster platter. Good thing we didn’t order 2 pieces of fish!

With our bellies full we pushed on to Sudbury and then to North Bay. Dry comfy bed awaits so until tomorrow, stay safe!

Day 51, North Bay to Home!

We stayed at a hotel last night as our tent was wet and there was threat of rain in the morning. (Plus I was done putting up the tent and gear for another night!)

While it wasn’t raining when we left, we could see clouds in the west. Good thing we were heading south east!

Leaving North Bay and the Lake Nippissing area

As we drove on, we started to get into familiar territory. We were driving the northern route home, heading along the north side of Algonquin Park. The lakes and forests were very familiar to us now.

Skirting the Ottawa River near Mattawa
The maple leaves were just starting to blush with the cooler evenings. In another week or two the colours will be magnificent!
Ottawa Valley farmland. Smaller than Prairie farms.
Looks like the corn is doing well here!

As we drove south now, we took a short cut from 417 to the Upper Dwyer Hill Road. From there we went through back roads to come out at Tin Cap Berry Farm. We needed to stock up on some fresh veg!

A welcome sight. Looks like their harvest has been good!

From there it was just a short drive to our home!

Home Sweet Home!

Well our journey has taken us across the country and up to almost the northern coast. While we can’t technically claim that we have driven sea to sea to sea (C2C2C) we can say that we have driven Sea to the river (MacKenzie) that leads to the Sea to the Sea! All told we drove our car for 16,000 KM and the RV another 3,500 on the RV. Almost 20,000 Kms on this trip! And awesome adventure, made even more awesome with the fact that we are still speaking to each other!!!

We’re not sure where our next adventure will take us, but will be sure to take you all along. Please stay safe. See you next time!

Categories: 2021 C2C2C Exploring Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast - a 40th Anniversary Tour

2 comments

  1. Welcome home! Xo

    Sent from my iPad

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